Aaron Nesmith made his debut for the Boston Celtics in Tuesday night's preseason loss to the Philadelphia 76ers.
The C's selected the 21-year-old wing with the No. 14 pick in the first round of the 2020 NBA Draft last month. He scored eight points with five rebounds in 19 minutes of action versus the Sixers.
Nesmith has a lot to learn about being pro -- just like every other rookie -- but he does benefit from a friendship with a veteran player who's given him a lot of advice. That player is Milwaukee Bucks star Khris Middleton, who went to the same high school (Porter-Gaud School in South Carolina) as Nesmith.
What has Middleton told Nesmith about the pro level?
"Just to stay the course. It's a long season. There's a lot to learn. Everything is going to change. The way the season starts for the team or you individually is not necessarily how the season is going to end," Nesmith told our Chris Forsberg on a new episode of the Celtics Talk Podcast.
"Be ready for change on the fly and just stay the course and remember to do the things that got you here."
It was no secret the Celtics needed to add a quality outside shooter or two in the 2020 draft, and Nesmith hit 52.2 percent of his 3-point attempts during an injury-shortened 2019-20 season at Vanderbilt.
So, on paper, Nesmith was a solid fit for Boston, but did the versatile wing know he was on the Celtics' radar prior to the draft?
"I had an interview with them and they came and watched me work out down in Charleston," Nesmith explained. "But I didn't have any idea, pretty much until five minutes before the pick."
How did Nesmith become a consistently impressive shooter?
"I really worked on it -- dedication and repetition," Nesmith said. "You look at some of the greatest to ever do it, they do the same routine every single day. They stick to the same principles every single day. So it's definitely dedication and a routine and an everyday thing for sure."
The Celtics ranked 29th in bench scoring last season. They didn't add a ton of offensive firepower in free agency and lost veteran forward Gordon Hayward in a sign-and-trade with the Charlotte Hornets. If Nesmith can come off the bench and give Boston valuable scoring, especially as a knockdown 3-point shooter, he could become a key contributor for this team by the time the playoffs arrive.
Also in this episode: Chris Forsberg and D.J. Bean gave their immediate reactions to the preseason opener. How does Giannis re-signing with the Bucks impact the future of the East? And the full exclusive 1-on-1 interview with Nesmith.